In the Spotlight

Your Voice
Document What goals would you set for President Bush? What focus would you like to see? What do you want from the 2004 administration?
Select A Candidate
Document Select A Candidate
Which candidates' views on the issues most closely match your own? Take our Select A Candidate survey.
To see who will be on your ballot, enter all or part of your address.

Address Number: (e.g. 124)

Street Name: (e.g. Elm St)

Zip code (required):

Your street address will help generate your sample ballot and will not be used for any other purpose.
News Headlines
News & Features
Campaign 2004

Candidate Bio
Betty McCollum
Political affiliation:
July 12, 1954
Divorced. Mother of adult son and daughter. Catholic. Resides in St. Paul
Former teacher. Current congresswoman
Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of St. Catherine, majoring in social studies and minoring in political science.
Major political experience:
Current congresswoman from the 4th District, Former state legislator, Former member of North St. Paul City Council.
Audio and Debates
Links and Resources
Document Past 4th District results:Results of recent elections.
House Web site:
Campaign Web site:
Campaign 2002:
Document Coverage of McCollum's re-election bid
Campaign 2000:
Document McCollum's initial election for Congress
Campaign contributors:
Document Political Money Line
Candidate Pages
District Pages

Betty McCollum

When her daughter got hurt on a slide in a city park and the North St. Paul City Council would not fix the problem that led to the accident, Betty McCollum got involved in politics. She was elected to the city council on her second try.

In 1992 she ran for the state House of Representatives. District lines were being redrawn at the time so she ran against two incumbents. She beat them both.

In office, she was a strong environmentalist who opposed Northern States Power when the utility sought permission to store spent nuclear waste in dry casks outside the plant. She advocated election reform, including allowing absentee voters to be able to vote without stating a reason they couldn't get to the polls. She had a 92 percent rating from the AFL/CIO and a 100 percent rating from the Sierra Club. She is in favor of abortion rights.

In her 1992 race for the state House, Betty McCollum beat incumbent Rep. Rick O'Conner in the DFL primary with 53.5 percent of the vote and then went on to beat Republican Rep. Dennis Newinski with nearly the same vote margin. Her reelections since have been by wider margins.

In the primary for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Rep. Bruce Vento, she survived a heated challenge by three experienced politicians. Two opponents, state Sen. Steve Novak, and St. Paul City Council Member Chris Coleman, said she distored their record in campaign literature. They complained even louder of aggressive mailings sent on McCollum's behalf by the state DFL Party. McCollum was the endorsed candidate. Ultimately, McCollum defeated Republican Linda Runbeck and Independence Party candidate Tom Foley with 48 percent of the vote. Then, in 2002, she won an easy victory with 74% of the votes cast.

In 2004, McCollum faced Patrice Bataglia, a Dakota County commissioner. McCollum easily was re-elected with a 58%-to-33% victory. See election results for the 4th District.

Patty Wetterling's uncertain political future
Democrat Patty Wetterling lost her bid for Congress by 30,000 votes. But political observers say Wetterling, as a first-time candidate, made a good showing against incumbent Republican Mark Kennedy. Now many wonder about Wetterling's political future.
Minnesota members of Congress return to Washington
Minnesota is sending back all of the state's incumbents to Congress. Republican Mark Kennedy defeated DFL challenger Patty Wetterling in the race that garnered most of the attention. Kennedy received 54 percent of the vote in Minnesota's 6th District to Wetterling's 46 percent of the vote. Kennedy's victory means that Minnesota's congressional delegation will be split with four Republicans and four Democrats. Members of both parties say they hope to put the recent partisan rhetoric behind them when they go back to Washington.
Gutkencht confident of eighth term
For more than a decade, Republican Gil Gutknecht has represented the 1st District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He's won his last few races handily. This year's election is unlikely to be any different. In fact Gutknecht is so confident he's barely campaigning at all.
Meet the Candidates: Mark Kennedy and Patty Wetterling
The congressional race in Minnesota's 6th District has been one of the most closely watched in the country. In what would otherwise be a relatively safe reelection campaign, Republican Mark Kennedy is facing a challenge from a very well-known first-time candidate: missing children's advocate Patty Wetterling. Minnesota Public Radio's Meet the Candidates series continues with back-to-back interviews with Kennedy and Wetterling.
1st District and 5th District debates
Minnesota Public Radio's Meet the Candidates series continues with the congressional candidates in the 1st and 5th Districts.
3rd District debate
Minnesota Public Radio's Meet the Candidates series continues with the 3rd District congressional candidates, incumbent Republican Jim Ramstad and his DFL challenger Deborah Watts. In the 2nd half hour, a look at the Senate races in South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Meet the candidates: 2nd Congressional District
A live Minnesota Public Radio debate between the candidates running for Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District. Republican John Kline is in his first term in the U.S. Congress and is defending his seat against Democrat Teresa Daly. Independence Party candidate Doug Williams was also invited to participate in the debate but did not respond.
Meet the candidates: 4th Congressional District
A live Minnesota Public Radio debate between the candidates running for Minnesota's 4th Congressional District. Betty McCollum, a two-term Democratic incumbent, is defending her seat against Republican Patrice Bataglia. Independence Party candidate Peter Vento was also invited to participate in the debate but did not respond.
Sixth District candidates debate
Sixth District Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy is defending his seat from well-known missing children's advocate Patty Wetterling, a Democrat. They square off at a Sunday evening debate in St. Paul sponsored by the League of Women Voters and KSTP-TV. Minnesota Public Radio broadcasts the debate as part of our "Meet the Candidates" series.
Kennedy, Wetterling stage final 6th District debate
Incumbent Republican Mark Kennedy and his Democratic challenger Patty Wetterling are involved in one of Minnesota's hottest congressional races. Their final debate was broadcast live from a Twin Cities television station.
Negative ads suggest close race in Minnesota's 6th District
Republican Mark Kennedy and the National Republican Congressional Committee are stepping up their criticism of DFLer Patty Wetterling. Both Kennedy and the NRCC are running television advertisements questioning Wetterling's credibility as a candidate and the special interest groups that support her. Wetterling says the ads are unfair and has countered with an ad of her own questioning the Republican tactics.
Congressional candidates debate in St. Cloud
The two candidates for Minnesota's 6th Congressional District met over the weekend for their second debate in St. Cloud. Incumbent Republican Mark Kennedy and Democratic challenger Patty Wetterling showed contrasting opinions on topics ranging from Social Security to the war in Iraq.
In Minnesota's sprawling 6th District, the battleground may be TV
The candidates in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District are battling over the war on terrorism and homeland security. Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy has been running an ad suggesting DFL opponent Patty Wetterling opposes the war in Afghanistan. Wetterling says Kennedy is misleading voters and has been running her own ads touting her accomplishments in fighting crime.
Hard feelings mark Minnesota's 2nd District race
Republican Congressman John Kline and DFL Challenger Teresa Daly met on Monday for their second debate. The two candidates are running in Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District, which includes some southern Twin Cities suburbs and stretches south into Red Wing and Faribault. The 2002 race in Minnesota's 2nd was fiercely competitive, with Kline and DFL opponent Bill Luther both claiming the other was using underhanded tactics to get elected. The current race is likely to follow suit since both candidates are claiming their their opponent is engaged in mudslinging.
Kennedy, Wetterling debate issues in 6th District race
Republican Congressman Mark Kennedy and DFL challenger Patty Wetterling met in their first head-to-head debate on Sunday in Minneapolis. The two candidates are running in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District, which takes up St. Cloud, the northern Twin Cities suburbs and eastern suburbs, such as Woodbury and Stillwater.

More News & Features
Browse: 1 2 3 4 Next >